Meaning of return to Allah after death
Fatwa No: 362074

Question

What does it mean when we say that a person has returned to Allah when he dies?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The return of people to Allah is mentioned in many verses in the Quran. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means):

·    {How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you (back) to life, and then to Him you will be returned.} [Quran 2:28]

·    {He gives life and causes death, and to Him you will be returned.} [Quran 10:56]

·   {Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.} [Quran 21:35]

·    {And He is Allah; there is no deity except Him. To Him is (due all) praise in the first (life) and the Hereafter. And His is the (final) decision, and to Him you will be returned.} [Quran 28:70]

And many other verses in the same vein.

Returning to Allah means resurrection after death for the reckoning and compensation (when every soul shall be compensated for what it has earned in the worldly life). Tafseer Al-Jalaalayn reads, “{...and to Him you will be returned} means that you shall be resurrected after death and held accountable for your actions in the worldly life.

The reason for using the verb “return” in this context was clarified by Ibn ʻAashoor  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him as he said, “A resemblance is made between resurrection for the reckoning and the return of the wayfarer to his home in the sense that Allah, the Exalted, has created all beings, so it is as if they issued from His presence (and were then sent to earth). When He resurrects them after death, it is as if He is bringing them back to Him. This is confirmation of the resurrection and compensation (for deeds in the worldly life).

The return to Allah does not indicate death; rather, it refers to the resurrection after death for the reckoning and compensation. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {Every soul will taste death. Then to Us you shall be returned.} [Quran 29:57] The verse stated that every soul shall die and then return to Allah, and this entails that these are two different actions.

Allah knows best.

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